tv America This Morning ABC September 23, 2010 4:00am-4:30am EDT
making news on this thursday, september 23rd. >> on alert. a grim, new assessment of the nation's war on terror. why terrorists are now planning more, smaller-scale attacks. under fire. the bentley-driving mission who led anti-gay protests, accused of luring young men into sex. today, we'll hear from him. and together again. joaquin phoenix returns to "letterman," with an explanation of his wacky behavior and that beard. good morning. and thanks for being with us. today, congress gets a progress check on how safe the nation's
transit system is when it comes to terrorism. >> that, of course, is just one front in the war on terror. a war, now, with more and more threats coming from within our borders. >> emily schmidt has the details this morning from washington. good morning, emily. >> reporter: rob and vinita, good morning to you. the u.s. counterterrorism chief says over the past year, we've seen more significant terror developments than any year since 9/11. there are more threats. and they're happening closer to hope home. top intelligence officials say fighting terrorism is getting more complicated because extremists are looking for help from people within u.s. boarders. >> a new and changing facet of the terrorist threat comes from homegrown terrorists. by which, i mean, u.s. persons. >> reporter: there were three attempted attacks in seven months. first, last year's new york subway plot. then, the christmas day square. and the times square bombing attempt in may. in the last year and a half, 63 americans have been arrested or
convicted of terroristic charges. >> do you believe this is an aberration? or is this likely to continue? >> caution would dictate that we assume it is not an aberration. >> reporter: the experts cautioned american terrorist plots are harder to detect. >> watching a larger attack, or a more devastating attack, it's not worth the additional effort when you can get a substantial coverage and impact with smaller attacks. >> reporter: in bob woodward's new book, president obama is quoted as saying the nation will do all it can to prevent a terrorist attack. but even after 9/11, he said, the biggest attack ever, we absorbed it and we are stronger. >> this notion that the terrorists pose a threat to our very existence, i think is dangerous to the country. it's dangerous to our national psyche. and i think the president feels it. >> reporter: the government plans to expand a multimillion
public awareness plan this fall. if you see something, say something. rob and vinita? >> emily schmidt, thank you. emily made reference to bob woodward's new book. it also assesses the management of the war in afghanistan. president obama's spokesman did not dispute any information in the book. and he says the book portrays a thoughtful process. robert gibbs urged people to read the entire book and not just part of it. in an effort to win control of congress in the yupcoming elections, republicans are rolling out their so-called pledge to america later today. it's filled with familiar ideas, including plans to cut taxes and spending. as well as a repeal of the new health care reform law. but there's also ideas for more job creation. much more on the plan, later today on "good morning america." and major parts of the new
health care law take effect today. those include preventing insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. on top of that, children can stay on their parents' plan until the age of 26. the owner of the iowa egg farm at the center of the salmonella outbreak has apologized to all those who got sick. after reading from his prepared statement, jack decoster had trouble answering questions from lawmakers on capitol hill. >> you cleaned up your operations, as you say, why did this outbreak occur? >> mr. chairman this, is a complicated subject. >> where you are now, you feel cleaned up and adequate. >> sir, please, let me talk. okay? >> the owner of a second farm also implicated in the salmonella outbreak, was also at the hearing. but took the fifth amendment. gay couples in florida are one step closer to being able to adopt. a state appeals court found a law banning such adoptions
unconstitutional. and now, the florida governor says the state will stop enforcing that adoption law, immediately. the state supreme court must remove the law from the books. gay right supporters interrupted a speech by president obama in new york, heckling him several times. some of the protesters complained that the president did not fulfill his promise to repeal the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. others demanded more money for aids funding, in which the president interrupted his speech to address. >> i want us to talk about what is at stake in this election because the people that potentially will take over, if we don't focus on this election, i promise you will cut aids funding. >> the president then suggested the protesters go holler at the republicans instead. and now, for this morning's weather from around the country. stormy in the middle of the nation, with hail and 70-mile-per-hour winds in southern minnesota, omaha, des moines and kansas city.
up to four inches of rain and flooding from the dakotas to wisconsin. showers in new orleans, houston and san antonio. thunderstorms from phoenix to el paso. >> mostly 70s from albuquerque to boise. 72 in the twin cities. 82 in detroit. almost 70 in boston. and 80 here in new york. a summer-like 88 in baltimore. near-record highs in the southeast. two of cable tv's more popular foes went toe-to-toe last night. jon stewart was on bill o'reilly's show. >> stewart was there to promote his book. but he defended president obama. even the lighter moments seemed to have a certain edge about them. >> i can't get on it. >> she doesn't like you. >> i know. why? >> you're not likable. >> why do i have to get a sprained wrist when i buy your book? >> i put effort into my books. i don't put one out every six months. >> not me.
i write them all. >> o'reilly will appear on stewart's now next week. that will be interesting, i'm sure. business news is next, including changes coming at the cost of your favorite starbucks drink. then, the world's richest. what the list of billionaires says about the economy. and more than a year after that bizarre interview on david and more than a year after that bizarre interview on david
crisis appears to be failing. more than half the troubled homeowners that applied for its flagship mortgage relief program have opted out. fewer than 500,000 borrowers have received permanent loan modifications. major stock markets in asia were closed today because of holidays. there is trading in europe, though. in london, the ftse opened higher. on wall street, the dow fell almost 22 points yesterday. starbucks drinkers should get ready to dig deeper in their pockets for their morning cup of joe. the chain is hiking prices on some of its drinks. but some of the most popular drinks will cost the same or could go down in price. no surprises at the top of this year's "forbes" 400 list. bill gates still ranks at the richest person in the u.s., for the 17th-straight year. investor warren buffett is
second, $9 billion less than gates. 16 new names joined the list this year. the average net worth of the "forbes" 400, is $3 billion. 217 of them saw their net worth rise last year. and facebook founder, mark zuckerberg saw his name rise more than anybody else on the list. zuckerberg is donating $100 million to the newark, new jersey, school system. it's an effort to turn around one of the worst school systems in the country. >> that puts him seven notches higher than apple's steve jobs. so young to be at that level. >> just a little jealous. coming up next on this thursday, the new debate over mammograms and lasik eye surgery. should it be banned? and new secrets revealed about the sinking of the "titanic."
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central arizona is bracing for more rain after heavy downpours triggered a mudslide. the slide covered a highway north of phoenix with seex feet of mud and rocks and ripped off part of the guardrail. several cars were initially stopped. but no one was injured. a look at morning road conditions. flooding on i-90, from wisconsin to minnesota. and flooded on i-5, from kansas city. and i-80 from des moines to omaha. and from el paso to albuquerque. >> if you're flying today, you can expect some airport delays in seattle, phoenix, houston, minneapolis, kansas city and chicago. this morning, we are expecting to hear from an atlanta minister who is now at the center of a growing scandal over sex abuse accusations. >> lawyers for bishop eddie long have strongly denied that he traded sexual favors for cash, cars and other gifts.
here's abc's steve osunsami. >> reporter: bishop eddie long is considered one of the most anti-gay pastors in the country, who once said that homosexuality is a spiritual abortion. if today's accusations are true, he might regret the day he led thousands through the streets of atlanta in protest of gays and same-sex marriage. >> woman and woman and man and man is not right. so, that's why i stand by the bishop. >> reporter: in the lawsuits, filed by three, young men he recruited into the youth ministry at his gigantic church outside atlanta, they describe him as a sexual predator who pushed them into sex, lavished them with expensive gifts, and sent them these photos, texts and e-mails when they were above the legal age of consent, but just 16 and 17 years old. they say he certainly doesn't look like a bishop here. >> what pastor in his right mind sends a picture of himself posing in a bathroom in a muscle shirt? none. none that i know of. >> reporter: at the funeral of coretta scott king, which took place at his church in 2006,
some civil rights leaders refused to attend because long is so anti-gay. and he isn't just any pastor. he leads one of the largest african-american congregations in the world. this bishop drives a bentley, and has his own private jet. these young men say that many people in the church who were close to bishop long knew what was going on, but covered for him, and kept quiet for years. in a statement, long's attorney says the bishop denies the accusations. his accusers say there were hundreds of young men in his youth ministry. and they believe more of them will come forward. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. the death toll from the inferno that consumed a california neighborhood two weeks ago has climbed to seven. three members of a family were identified yesterday. four people who were injured in the fire remain hospitalized. three in critical condition. a preliminary report about what caused the fire is still weeks away. and there are new findings about the sinking of the "titanic," contained in a new
novel written by the granddaughter of the most senior officer who survived the disaster. she said the luxury liner hit an iceberg back in 1912, because of a basic steering mistake. on top of that, she claims the ship sunk fast because the captain ordered it to keep moving, as opposed to bringing it to a stop in the icy water. a new study is re-igniting the debate of the benefits of mammograms for women over 50. the routine mammograms were only slightly beneficial. instead, a better treatment and a greater awareness of the disease played a stronger roll. the national cancer society has advocated that women get screens starting at age 40. a turnaround from a former fda official that pushed for the approval of lasik eye surgery. he is asking the government to issue strong warnings about lasik. more than one-third need glasses
or contact lenses. the lasik industry insists side-effects are minor or temporary. now, for the latest in sports highlights, here is espn news. >> good morning. i'm sara walsh with your espn news update. the battling for supremacy is on, as rivals face off against each other. bobby cox tipping his hats to the fans in philly. he had eight ks in this one. bottom of the eighth, scoreless. not anymore. raul ibanez lines one deep to left. that's just fair. jayson werth comes home to score. it's 1-0, phillies. brad lidge, pitching in the ninth. and he gets martin prado to fly out to right to end the game. phillies win it, 1-0. in the bronx, rays and yankees. delayed 2:11 due to heavy rain.
bottom of the fifth. lance berkman, deep to right. his first as a yankee. his 14th of the year. tampa bay really had ground to gain. they started the evening 2 1/2-games back. and carl crawford helping the race' cause. 16th of the season. rays up 4-2. next batter, evan longoria, a shot to right center, deposited in the bullpen. tampa bay wins it 7-2. they are a game and a half back in the a.l. east. that will do it from here. back to you guys in the studio. have a great day. now, to the story a lot of people will be talking about this morning. a late-night sequel. joaquin phoenix gave fans what they've been waiting for. >> more than a year and a half when phoenix gave david letterman that bizarre interview, that he was giving up acting to become a rapper. and he returned as a clean-cut star, revealing it was part of a
stunt about a film about celebrity. >> to be frank, we didn't know how the media or the public was going to respond. but i didn't know if anyone would care. >> looking back now, was it worth taking the risk? >> 100%. i hope i didn't offend you in any way. >> no. i wasn't offended. >> letterman made it clear that he was never in on the prank that jokingly demanded $1 million for an appearance fee in the film. >> they have come out and saying it's all fake. none of it's real. >> night and day to see him in the heavy beard and the hair, and now clean-shaven. >> good call to get rid of the beard. coming up next, the stories we'll be following today, including awards for extraordinary acts of heroism. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] it starts with you falling in love
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[ female announcer ] scope outlast. it's about time for a mouthwash that lasts even longer. now that fresh breath feeling lasts up to 5 times longer. what will you outlast? now, a look ahead to the stories we will be watching on this thursday. president obama spends the day right here in new york, addressing middle east peace and the nuclear threat, among other topics, before the u.n. general assembly. later, mr. obama will introduce the first lady. she will give a speech during the closing ceremonies of the clinton global initiative. major parts of the health care law take effect today. they include bans on insurance companies denying coverage for a pre-existing condition. republicans, today, unveil
their so-called pledge to america. it's the platform they hope to use to launch a takeover of congress for the november elections. among its provisions, a repeal of the new health care reform law, as well as cuts in taxes and in spending. the carnegie heroes medals are being awarded to 19 americans who risked their lives to save others. they include a new jersey man who pulled a driver from a burning car and a utah man who wrestled a gun away from a prison escapee. coming up later today on "good morning america," it seems he is everywhere these days. stephen colbert, on capitol hill and organizing a march on washington. and on top of that, he is stopping by our studios for straight answers to our testify question tough questions. for some of you, your local news is next. >> and for everybody else, the new theory, did moses have help
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explanation of biblical proportions. the science behind the parting of the red sea. >> we all know the incredible story of how moses escaped the egyptians. but now researchers say that mother nature may have had a hand in the miracle. here's abc's dan harris. >> reporter: it is a key chapter in what's been called the greatest story ever told. as portrayed in the movie, "the ten commandments," the bible says the israelites, when fleeing egypt, got stuck between the pharaoh's army and the red sea. on moses' command, the waters parted, allowing the israelites to escape. enter carl drews, a software engineer from the national center for atmospheric research. he says, at long last, he's discovered a plausible explanation. >> the exciting thing is that there is a scientific basis for this 3,000-year-old story. >> reporter: he used old maps and satellite data to build this computer model, which shows that when a strong wind blows out of
the east, all night long, just like it says in the bible, the water is pushed back, leaving a muddy patch that somebody could walk across. and when the wind dies down, the water rushes back in. >> it shows the body of water lowering in level and splitting around the point of this peninsula, and then dividing on both sides. the crossing is open for four hours. the crossing is three kilometers long and four kilometers wide. so, there's plenty of room to get across. and i'm kind of imagining ankle-deep mud in that spot. >> reporter: we should point out that drews is a devout christian. and some of his peers have asked whether his beliefs may be coloring his science. >> i have to put on my scientist hat when i'm looking at this. so, i've got my scientist hat on. and i'm trying to analyze this objectively. >> reporter: one leading scientist we reached tonight said it is possible that drews was swayed by his fa